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What's in the CSA basket where you live?

d
drucie Aug 6, 2008 12:45 PM

I've noticed a bunch of us are CSA subscribers and thought it'd be interesting to see what we all have in our baskets/boxes now, to see what the regional variations are. I recently started subscribing to a CSA and am having a lot of fun with it. It's definitely a different mindset for cooking, though. I used to sit down on Sat/Sun and think about the week ahead, and now I need to actually have the basket in front of me and go through it, getting inspiration for dishes I want to make with what I have.

Also curious about cost variation throughout the country. So I'll be nosy and ask and post what you will...

I'll start - we live in Temecula, CA and our CSA (CCOF organic certified) is in nearby north (inland) San Diego County. I pay $34/week for the small basket (big bushel basket) - they charge $44/week for a much larger basket. No delivery - we have a local site where we pick up.

This week I got: 4 large Hass avocados; 6 limes; 1 large head green leaf lettuce; 1 smaller baby lettuce; 4 chilis (medium jalapeno & milder pico de gallo); 5 large oranges; 6 small Asian pears; Swiss chard; large bunch mint; large bunch basil; large head bok choy; huge bag green beans; 2 cucumbers; 3 baskets cherry tomatoes (variety of sizes & colors)

  1. Low Country Jon Aug 16, 2008 12:49 PM

    I live in Charleston, SC and belong to the Ambrose Farms CSA. An individual share (for 2 to 4 people) is about $20 per week. We are actually between seasons right now. The spring season started in April and ended in July. The fall season will start the first of October and end in December. Sort of annoying to have this gap during prime summer produce time, but a lot of local farmers seem to plant this way, given our long growing season. Anyway, the local farmer's markets and roadside stands/markets help fill the gap.

    From the CSA's website, this upcoming season will likely include "Lettuce(4 to 6 varities), Arugula, Collards, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Beets, Carrots, Turnips, Radishes, Spinach, Tat Soy, Boc Choi, Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Cantaloup, Watermelon, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Egg Plant, Kale, Mustard, Scallion Onions, Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Sweet Corn(NOT ORGANIC),and Popping Corn." This line up is pretty similar to the spring season's plus fall squashes, minus the strawberries we enjoyed for many weeks in the spring. The CSA also has its own shirmp boat and will add in fresh-caught shrimp for extra. They also offer eggs on a limited basis.

    1. Suzy Q Aug 14, 2008 08:19 PM

      Our Raleigh/Triangle, NC area box that I'll be picking up tomorrow afternoon will have Silver Queen corn, cucumbers, red cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, tomatillas, edamame, snaps, and eggplant. Yummmmmmmm! I love summer veggies.

      1. h
        hilltowner Aug 14, 2008 02:53 PM

        I live in the hills of western Massachusetts, (as opposed to "The Valley" for those who know), and I paid I think $225 for a half share; half a bushel every week. My CSA is a little bit different from others, in that we are given a bag and are allowed, for the most part, to pick and choose what we want from the harvest that day. The weather has been pretty cool these days, so tomatoes are not yet available. As I remember it, the offerings this week were:

        Beets - three types
        Carrots
        red or green cabbage
        summer squash
        zucchini
        pattypan squash
        fennel
        garlic
        red and white onions
        various herbs
        cucumbers - regular and pickling
        cauliflower
        lettuce - romaine, green leaf, red leaf
        green beans

        I think that's it, but I may have overlooked things I do not care for. I love my CSA. I have been with them for 4 years now, which has its own benefits. Because they know that I put up any vegetables I am not going to be able to use, (particularly tomatoes), whenever they have a surplus of a vegetable, they let me have at it. Last year, I was able get unlimited plum tomatoes, which lasted me all year. This year, so far, (and the season is really just getting started), I was offered a huge grocery bag of green beans, which will certainly last the winter. I have found so much benefit to having a relationship with the farmers growing my food. Its not just that I get perks either. There is a mutual respect. I could go on, but I don't want to hijack this thread.

        1. iowagirl Aug 14, 2008 01:33 PM

          What a fun topic! I'm in Iowa City, IA and this is my first year with a CSA. I paid $450 for a regular share plus bread and eggs and pick up is at my farmer's market every Wed evening. Our growing season was delayed because of the horrible flooding, but I think we're on track now. Yesterday, I received:

          Baby gold potatoes
          1 lb of tomatoes
          8 ears of just picked sweet corn
          2 cucumbers
          2 green bell peppers
          garlic
          three sweet onions

          Then we can go to the "extras" table and take as much as we want of:
          Basil, kale, Hungarian Wax peppers, another chili pepper variety, squash and zucchini, other various greens and herbs, depending on the week.

          The bread is always still hot and the eggs are wonderful (although we have had a hard time going through a dozen a week). I need to get baking!

          It's been lots of fun, and I'm getting my family to eat a lot of different veggies.

          1. c
            cyberroo Aug 14, 2008 01:16 PM

            I'm in Sonoma, and I have a half-share with a local CSA for which I paid an ungodly amount that I have blocked from my mind, largely because in addition to my big bag of veggies every week, I get fruit, a half dozen "pretty" eggs (the blue & green ones for the most part), and a loaf of local, organic bread. Then once a month we also get local cheeses.

            This week, we got...
            2 or 3 ears of sweet corn
            Scarlet Nantes carrots
            Royal burgandy green beans (very pretty)
            a few summer squash
            a cucumber or two (I don't eat them, so they pretty much go straight to the compost bin)
            red scallions
            a huge head of red buttercrunch lettuce
            basil

            The fruit has been really disappointing - it's all organic, but it's factory processed fruit - green peaches and nectarines with stickers on them, plastic containers of driscoll berries. This week we got 2 peaches, a nectarine and a pluot, maybe? It's the one things I would have skipped if I had known.

            I love the eggs and bread. The cheese is iffy - I'm never sure when it's coming, and I don't really need that much cheese, but it's been ok.

            The veggies have been hit and miss. Earlier in the season we were getting a lot of radishes and turnips which languished in the fridge until I either roasted them and tossed them, or just tossed right into the compost from the outset. And the heavy greens haven't really converted us, either - just not big kale eaters! On the other hand, the fresh lettuces are great - it's one thing that I had always skipped at the farmers market, but we're really liking fresh salads.

            It definitely hasn't kept me from the farmers markets, where I go for good fruit, tomatoes, etc., but it's been a fun experiment.

            1. h
              hoagy294 Aug 14, 2008 10:46 AM

              We're in Toronto, we paid $400 for a half share, it works out to $22/week and is more than enough for our family. We pick it up at a neighbour's house around the corner which is the local depot. The growing season here is June - Oct. It is sort of an organic co-op, the Plan B farm grows most of what we receive but they also get items from other local organic farms.
              This week we get Salad Mix, Spinach, Beets, Watermelon, Tomato, Potatoes, Green Pepper, Green Leaf Lettuce, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Beans, Zucchini.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hoagy294
                l
                lattelover Aug 14, 2008 12:40 PM

                I live in Fairfield County CT and pay $425 for a full share per week June-Nov. Yesterday we got:
                2 slicing cucumbers
                2 Orient Express eggplant
                2 Walla Wal onions (delicious!
                1 basket Sun Gold cherry tomatoes
                1 and1/2 lbs. slicing tomatoes
                1 large bunch golden beets
                2 lilac peppers
                1 bunch cilantro
                1 head fellen
                2 lbs. summer squash

                Everything is 100% organic and delicious, but you have to be ready to deal with what you get.

                My pick-up place is less than 1/2 mile away and the farm is in upstate NY, not too far from NYC.

              2. greedygirl Aug 14, 2008 07:22 AM

                CSA doesn't exist in England, but I get an organic box of vegetables every week from a franchise which is based in Devon.

                http://www.riverford.co.uk/

                Interestingly, it doesn't appear to be more expensive than in the States, which is unusual! I pay about £13 for a seasonal box. This summer, we've been getting a lot of courgettes, broad beans (favas), lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Last week I got:

                Large lettuce
                Green Beans
                Runner beans
                Celery
                Cherry tomatoes
                Portabello mushrooms
                Carrots
                Bunched onions
                Beetroot (these were especially delicious
                )Cucumber

                I also get two litres of milk from them every week. You can also get a ton of other stuff, including meat and organic wine.

                I'm generally pretty happy with it, although there comes a point every summer when I get tired of courgettes, and every winter when I can't look another swede (rutabaga) in the face! They also provide recipes every week, and a newsletter which tells you what's going on on the farm.

                1. soxchik Aug 14, 2008 07:00 AM

                  I'm in Boston, and pick up a full share once a week about a mile from my house. The farm is about 45 min outside the city. The full share was $450 and goes from June to November. We've had a great variety so far, lots of greens early on. This week was: 1 bunch arugula,1 bunch spring onions,1 bunch radishes, 3 green peppers,12 ears of corn, 4 pounds red potatoes, 3 tomatoes, 2 asian eggplants, and 1 pound kentucky wonder beans.

                  As an aside, if anyone knows what to do with 2 large bunches of radishes (one from last week one from this week) I'd love suggestions.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: soxchik
                    d
                    drucie Aug 14, 2008 07:23 AM

                    We got radishes this week too. I write occasionally about the CSA basket on my blog (http://thanksgivingfeast.blogspot.com) and I just wrote about radishes. They can go into salads of course, sliced very, very thinly. But as I write in my blog entry, I'll eat this bunch thinly sliced on lightly buttered (cold unsalted butter) baguette French style. It's oddly good though just one of those weird French things and kind of an acquired taste. I predict my six year old won't like it but my two year old will beg for more.

                    often when we entertain I'll do mezes or if it's brunch I'll have bagels and I'll always have a relish tray (with pickles, cut veggies etc) and one of the things I'll usually put on it are radishes, and there's always one or two people who just like to eat radishes plain. They liven up trays because of the pretty color.

                    1. re: drucie
                      s
                      smarsh Aug 16, 2008 08:55 AM

                      I toss whole, trimmed radishes with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 10-15 minutes. They become really sweet and mellow, almost like you're not eating a radish. Its nice change of pace...

                    2. re: soxchik
                      msmarabini Aug 14, 2008 08:14 AM

                      For the radishes, slice them thinly, then season them with salt, fresh cracked black pepper, lots of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and drizzle well with a good extra virgin olive oil. Makes a yummy side salad.

                    3. p
                      Procrastibaker Aug 13, 2008 07:12 PM

                      We're in VA. In our box this week:
                      eggplant
                      2 bunches basil
                      Russian black tomatoes
                      one big beefsteak tomato
                      potatoes
                      tomatillos
                      yellow squash
                      zucchini
                      spring onions

                      The variety is not always this good. And the other week we got a terrible turnip the size of my head-- it was sooo bitter. Plus two gigantic, overgrown eight ball zucchini. But overall it's been really fun and we'll definitely do it again. Good topic!

                      1. l
                        laurie Aug 13, 2008 06:33 PM

                        We recently joined a CSA in the Tampa Bay area and are really looking forward to our first basket, which will probably be sometime in September. Unlike most of the country, the growing season in central and south Florida runs roughly Sept - May. We paid $400 for a half share (every other week), with a growing season that will last roughly nine months. I'll be sure to weigh back in on this thread as we start enjoying nature's bounty!

                        1. operagirl Aug 7, 2008 09:09 PM

                          We live in Santa Cruz, CA. Our CSA, Two Small Farms, is in Watsonville, about 20 miles away. We pay $20/week for a half share -- they only do half shares now.

                          In our basket this week:

                          box of strawberries
                          bunch of lacinto kale
                          chioggia beets
                          jalapeno peppers
                          2 heads red cabbage
                          carrots
                          2 heads red leaf lettuce
                          bunch green onions

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: operagirl
                            d
                            drucie Aug 13, 2008 05:23 PM

                            Thanks for sharing:-) It's so interesting to see what is growing in different parts of the country.

                            PS - I went to high school in your area (lived in Capitola and went to Soquel High) and my parents still live in SC today. You are lucky to live where you do!)

                            1. re: drucie
                              operagirl Aug 13, 2008 06:48 PM

                              Yeah, this IS an awesome place to live! And the produce isn't shabby either =). Just pickled the Chioggia beets today . . . and more produce is coming tomorrow! I can hardly keep up.

                          2. g
                            GeeBeeEmm Aug 7, 2008 05:08 PM

                            Fun topic! I'm in MN and my CSA is Harmony Valley Farm in WI.

                            Green/yellow beans
                            Green Savoy Cabbage
                            Yellow onions (about 5)
                            Italian garlic
                            Butterscotch melon (can't wait to crack that open!)
                            zucchini and yellow squash
                            bag of arugula
                            cilantro
                            carrots
                            yukina savoy
                            basil

                            I'm doing a 1/2 share (every other week), which seems to be working fine - I do a debit acct of $42 a month. It goes from the beginning of May till right before Christmas. They also do cheese, coffee, fruit and beef & poultry as well.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: GeeBeeEmm
                              t
                              ThoughtFull Oct 3, 2009 04:27 PM

                              Are you saying that your CSA is at least 250 miles away? Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

                            2. mrsjenpeters Aug 6, 2008 01:07 PM

                              we live in wisconsin. we paid $325 for a half share (full bushel every other week). the full share was $575. started june 1 (actually was delayed 2 weeks because of all the rains up here) and will go through the fall - november 1 is the offical date, but we'll go 2 weeks past that due to the initial delay.

                              the farm we went with also does early season greens for the month of may, $180.

                              you can elect to do an additional fall storage share, a single day pick up for $100 (beets, turnips, carrots, rutabagas, winter squash, fresh greens and more)

                              they also offer poultry april 24 - november 1 at $25/2 chickens/month.

                              This week in your box
                              * Hothouse Cucumbers
                              * Beans (yellow & romano)
                              * Lacinato Kale
                              * Kohlrabi
                              * Greentop Beets (Chioggia)
                              * Scallions
                              * Ribes Mix (currants and gooseberries)

                              here's a pic of our last pick up -

                               
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